Mideast NOCs Accelerate Hydrogen Plans

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group

Mideast national oil companies (NOCs) including Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc) and Saudi Aramco have begun doubling down on their hydrogen efforts to gain a first mover advantage in the potentially large and lucrative market. For now, the focus is on producing “blue” hydrogen as an export fuel and tool to decarbonize the region’s large hydrocarbons industry. While questions over future demand and the cost of technologies such as carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) — needed to produce blue hydrogen — remain, they are not preventing plans from progressing. “From Adnoc's side, what we cannot do is wait for the market to develop. We are betting on the world's stance on the climate issue to accelerate hydrogen,” Khalid Almuhaidib, senior vice president for hydrogen at Adnoc told this week's Gastech conference in Dubai, adding that the decision to advance its plans was “a leap of faith.” The strategy is driven by regional states' recognition that they must adapt to the low-carbon energy transition in which sustained lower oil demand, tighter hydrocarbon revenues, and the resulting erosion in geostrategic significance will be the defining challenges for years and decades to come.

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